35000 evacuated as highest volcano alert issued in Indonesia's Bali

Villagers are seen in a temporary evacuation center at Manggis village in Karangasem regency Island of Bali Indonesia

Ulet Ifansasti Villagers are seen in a temporary evacuation center at Manggis village in Karangasem regency Island of Bali Indonesia

A series of eruptions at Mount Agung between 1963 and 1964 killed more than 1,000 people and injured hundreds. Officials announced the highest possible alert level on Friday following the increasing volcanic activity, and urged people stay at least nine kilometres away from the crater. Mount Agung, with its peak at 3,142 meters above sea-level, is located on Bali, Indonesia's most famous tourist destination.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said more than 15,000 villagers have been officially evacuated.

The Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency has set up temporary shelters for evacuees and provided 14 tons of aid including food, water, tents, blankets and mattresses.

Truck driver Wayan Suparta, 35, chose to flee with his family from their home that is 3 miles from the mountain. The 35-year-old said he sold the family's cow because they don't know when they'll be able to return.

Flights at Bali's global airport are still operating as normal and there was little disruption to tourism operators across the rest of the island, authorities said.

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Hoaxes have proliferated online, with videos of previous eruptions in Indonesia circulated as current events at Mount Agung.

The number of people fleeing home has significantly risen to almost 35,000 after the volcano alert status was raised to the highest level in the Bali resort island of Indonesia, a senior official said here on Saturday.

Indonesia, an archipelagic nation, is home to over 17,500 islands and a total of 129 active volcanoes. "The earthquakes are happening less frequently but the magnitude is getting stronger", Gede Suantika, a senior volcanologist at the agency told AFP.

So far, more than 35,000 people in the area have been evacuated to temporary accommodation, and officials expect that number to double when an eruption happens.

"We hope this time it will not be that big, but we need to be prepared for the worst case scenario and prioritise vigilance", Kasbani told Metro TV.

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